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Shebesh-led lobby endorses Mboko's bid for Mombasa governor

'There is nothing that stops us from having a woman as Mombasa governor in 2022'

In Summary

• Embrace Movement is Mboko's political launch pad for governorship.

• The Likoni MP is a strong ally of Governor Hassan Joho. 

Likoni MP Mishi Mboko (4th from L), Governor Hassan Joho, his former deputy Hazel Katana and Public Service, Youth and Gender CAS Rachael Shebesh at Sheikh Zayed Chirldren Centre in Mombasa on April 7
EMBRACE Likoni MP Mishi Mboko (4th from L), Governor Hassan Joho, his former deputy Hazel Katana and Public Service, Youth and Gender CAS Rachael Shebesh at Sheikh Zayed Chirldren Centre in Mombasa on April 7
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

Embrace Movement has endorsed Likoni MP Mishi Mboko to succeed Hassan Joho as Mombasa governor.

The endorsement, through patron Rachael Shebesh, has buoyed Mboko's political ambitions. She has been meeting women's groups. 

Embrace Movement Mombasa chapter was launched on Sunday. The movement is an affiliate of the Handshake team.

Shebesh is the Youth and Gender Chief Administrative Secretary and former Nairobi woman representative. “There is nothing that stops us from having a woman as governor of Mombasa in 2022,” she said on Sunday.

“When you go higher, ensure you have left women leadership in Mombasa. Make sure Mboko, Ashu (Mombasa Woman Representative Asha Hussein) and Hazel Katana are in leadership positions,” Shebesh told Joho.

Mboko is Joho's close political associate. Joho is serving his second and final term as governor and is eyeing the presidency. He said Mombasa will play a key role in Kenya in 2022.

“This time we will be at the centre of the decision-making process. We'll be counted as Mombasa,” the county chief said on Sunday.

Shebesh said she is determined to wipe out the perception that women are their own enemies. “They say women are their own enemies. This is just a lie spread to make women fight each other.” 

She said she will ensure women support fellow women.

Mboko said her office will continue working with all leaders in supporting women's groups towards improving the country. She is keen to forge a strong partnership with popular women in Mombasa’s political circles. The lawmaker is making plans to take men head-on. 

“The strategy meetings are becoming more regular. We want to bring women together first because women have more votes than men,” an Embrace member told the Star on Wednesday. She sought anonymity.

“In one of the meetings, this was discussed at length and some names have been floated.”

All will, however, not be smooth sailing for the vocal Mboko. Other politicians are interested in the seat and the succession politics could intensify in the lead-up to the next poll.

Already, five political heavyweights have either made statements of intent or are touted to be among the frontrunners. They include Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, Kisauni’s Ali Mbogo, Mombasa county secretary Francis Thoya, former Nyali MP Hezron Awiti, and Mombasa county speaker Aharub Khatri.

Not to be wished away is Tourism CS Najib Balala. He has, however, not declared his interest in the governorship of a county he once led as mayor in 1998-99.